Review: Hellion by Emmy Joel

Hellion is the first book in Emmy Joel’s Billion-Dollar Bastards series. It features ex-cons running a construction company, a mystery surrounding murder and jewels with enough laughs to keep you coming back for more.

cover106758-mediumRolling ladders, an old fireplace, and general clutter both new and old accented the room. She may have had a low-grade orgasm.

Cate Lois is an archeologist. She loves history, but she’s not out for notoriety in the field. Not like her parents, at least. But it leads her to a house deep in Texas. Before she knows it, she’s not just out to hunt a precious family heirloom. She’s embroiled in mayhem that leads her straight into the arms of the co-owner of Pharaoh Construction.

Malcolm Bradshaw is renovating a historic home that he got roped into by his two associates. It doesn’t take long for hell to break loose. A skeleton has been found beneath the rubble and with a company run by ex-convicts, Malcolm doesn’t want the added headaches. Whose skeleton is it? And what happened to the missing family jewel? Seems he’ll have help along the way in a form of a nosy woman–one determined to uncover the mansion’s secrets.

Right from the beginning, I laughed at Cate’s antics. She wants a vacation; she’s earned it. But Cate gets roped into everyone else’s agenda. She handles it all with such humor! Even when she meets the grumpy, tattooed ex-convict, Malcolm. What you see is what you get with Cate. When a mystery deeper than the family jewel is uncovered, Cate is intrigued. She’s so tenacious in her search, and she has no problems setting up shop in the mansion’s library.

There were so many twists and turns in the plot. I would think I had it figured out before I was thrown for another loop. It’s mystery shrouded in dusty books and old photographs, and it’s such fun watching Cate’s mind work. Malcolm is her bold counterpart. While he wants his business cleared of all wrongdoing, he’s more than happy to let Cate do her thing.

Alongside a few distractions, of course.

His voice rained down on her and she tingled, because possibly she had a kink for grumpy tattoo-covered billionaire ex-convicts.

Some of the scenes did feel a little short. I would have liked to see more insight into each character and have the intimate relationship develop further. That being said, Hellion reminded me of an episode of The Librarians. Each new development leads them closer and closer to the culprit and finding the truth. It does end on a mild cliffhanger which will continue in book two.

I highly recommend this series for those looking for light drama with a sarcastic heroine, an alpha hero, and all the mystery and laughter you could hope for.

*I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


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